Life span of modern electrolytic caps?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by klobasa, May 15, 2019.

  1. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Meister

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    How long is the life span of quality brand electrolytic caps used in modern amps (specially the big filter caps)?
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have replaced some failed modern electrolytic filter caps in amps that were less than 10 years old. One was a Fender built in 2009. If they fail that quickly, then they will lose their ability to do the job properly even though they are ‘working’, ime.
     
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  3. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    The good modern stuff is better than the old stuff. The cheap modern stuff isn't as good as the old stuff. With any cap job I recommend the 15-20 year mark.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    My guess is generally shorter than the vintage ones.
     
  5. dogmeat

    dogmeat Tele-Holic

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    as above, I have replaced leaking caps in a 10 year old Fender. more than once.
     
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  6. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I'm not sure I would rank the big guys Fender uses as "higher quality" stuff though, like F&T or whatnot.
     
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  7. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It varies based on caps and application. In general, assume a service life of 15 years for electrolytics. Many survive longer than that, but they've begun degrading by that point. A 105 degree Celcius cap will last longer than an 85 degree rated cap, for example. If your amp runs hot and heat builds up inside, that'll limit service life compared to a cool running amp with lower internal temps. E-Lytics are relatively cheap so it doesn't really hurt to swap old ones out..
    That's because Fender uses garbage IC brand caps. Word on the street is, they asked IC, to make their cheapest electrolytic, even cheaper, for them to buy and use in bulk for Fenders. These are commonly known in the tech circle to be garbage, and some have even failed after months of use..
     
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  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I doubt we'll see 50 year old ones in amps that still work, in 50 years, like we do now.
    I'll be 104 then and probably won't care.
     
  9. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    tough to say if your ears could hear a difference then for sure.....just sayin'
     
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  10. trobbins

    trobbins TDPRI Member

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    Apart from caps sitting in hot air, the first main filter cap (or caps) is much more at risk of early demise as it will have some level of self-heating from ripple current.

    Not all caps of the same value and voltage rating have the same ripple current rating, and not all amps expose that cap to the same ripple current.

    Nebulous response, but without specific examples and details like 105C and the rated life hours spec, and a fair estimate of amp internal temp, then it will sort of be a guessing game.
     
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